Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden


Collectors of the UNC Herbarium

Eric Craig
(27 October 1829 –  11 April 1923)

Information compiled January 2011 by Lisa Giencke and Carol Ann McCormick,

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has only a few specimens collected by Eric Craig.  All are ferns or fern allies from New Zealand.  All of NCU’s specimens from the southeastern United States have been catalogued, but those from outside that area have not, so it is possible we may find more specimens collected by Craig in our collection.

The following information and photos were obtained from



John Eric Craig was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1829.  In 1850 he travelled to Bendigo, Australia to search for gold, then settled in Auckland, New Zealand.  He was an avid collector of both ferns and Maori artifacts, and sold both from Craig’s Curiosity Shop in Auckland.





Ware, Mike (1999)  Cyanotype:  The history, science and art of photographic printing in Prussian blue.  The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London.


Eric Craig (1829?-1923)… was a fern mounter and curio dealer in Auckland, New Zealand.  He had a shop near Auckland Museum in 1892-1893, from which he sold books of pressed ferns.  He published two editions, in 1888 and 1892, of 100 cyanotype illustrations of 172 varieties of fern, following the layout and some of the typography originally employed by Herbert Boucher Dobbie in his New Zealand Ferns published in 1880.  It is also apparent that he used some of Dobbie’s labeling but his specimens are different.  Examples of Craig’s work exist in the National Library of New Zealand and in the National Museum & Gallery of Wales in Cardiff.


Cyanotype is a photographic printing process that gives a cyan-blue print. The process was popular in engineering circles well into the 20th century. The simple and low-cost process enabled them to produce large-scale copies of their work, referred to as blueprints. Two chemicals are used in the process: Ammonium iron(III) citrate Potassium ferricyanide. History The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered this procedure in 1842. Though the process was developed by Herschel, he considered it as mainly a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, as in blueprints.



   Curriculum in Ecology                 North Carolina Botanical Garden         Biology Department      
      Curriculum                               North Carolina                         UNC

      in Ecology                                 Botanical Garden             Biology Dept.


University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931
fax: (919) 962-6930

Last Updated: 5 January 2011